Landscaping

Wood Chips As Mulch

Q: I am having some trees removed and would like to have them chipped up and spread around my plants and flower beds. Is this a good idea?  A: Arborist wood chips are an excellent landscape mulch! Unlike other mulch...

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Vines To Stop Erosion

Q: I have a vertical red clay bank that is several feet high and twenty feet long. Is there any vine I can plant at the top or bottom to stop erosion?  A: I would compare English ivy, Confederate jasmine,...

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Should I Get A Backyard Greenhouse?

Q: I am considering getting a small backyard greenhouse but I am concerned about it getting too hot.  A: A greenhouse is fun to have but sometimes you have to learn by experience what it takes to cool and heat...

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Why Are My Peace Lilies Dying?

Q: Many leaves on my 20-year-old peace lily are turning brown. I repotted it ten years ago. It stays in the window of a cool room and I water it once every other week. How do I make it healthier? ...

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Should I Prune My Peach Tree Early?

Q: We have been waiting for the right time to prune our peach tree and I know you recommend March for that. However we just noticed that they seem like they will bloom very soon. Should we still wait until...

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Do Organic Pesticides And Fertilizers Work?

Q: What are your thoughts on organic pesticides, and fertilizers? Do they work as well as non-organic? A: Organic pesticides can be as good as, or better than, conventional pesticides. It all depends on the pest being controlled. I have...

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Should Cut Off The Tops Of My Pine Trees

Q: What would happen if I topped my twenty-foot-tall pine trees?  A: If you cut off the top of any tree, eventually a small nearby limb will begin veering upward toward the sun to make a new trunk. This might...

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Georgia Fruit Tree Recommendations

Q: I am new to Georgia and am interested in planting a few fruit trees in my back yard. I’d like rare but hardy ones. Any suggestions? A: “Rare” and “hardy” may not be possible. If a fruit tree is...

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When Do Meyer Lemons Bloom?

Q: My Meyer lemon has about ten blooms starting to form. Is January the normal time?  A: It is behaving normally. Mine has bloomed indoors in January as well as outdoors in May depending on the weather conditions. When a...

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Passionvine tincture – Dermatitis (skin rash)

Q: I was given Passionvine medicine by a Naturopath for stress relief and took two doses yesterday. This morning I’ve worked up with the rash’s in the pictures below. I’ve had this rash from a ‘Robyn Gordon’ grevillea, I have...

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Can I Transplant My Hydrangeas To Zone 9 (Florida)?

Q: Can I transplant my hydrangeas to Zone 9, Florida? They are about three feet tall and wide. A: Hydrangeas will grow in zone 9 if you give them light shade all day long and if they are watered properly...

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What To Do With Old 4-5-4 Plant Food?

Q: I just discovered an unopened bag of 4-5-4 plant food I purchased for my azaleas. It contains “material recycled from the food processing industry, formulated specifically for all acid-loving plants…” What would you suggest I do with it?  A:...

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How Is “Fat Lighter’d” Formed

Q: As a child, I remember hunting in the woods for “fat lighter’d” to be used as kindling in the fireplace. How it is formed?  A: Fat lighter’d is the center portion of a pine tree stump (the heartwood). It...

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Correct Way To Plant White Oak Acorns

Q: I have recently collected some white oak acorns. What is the correct way to plant them?  A: The best time to plant white oak acorns is in fall immediately after you collect them because they sprout so quickly. In...

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Can I Trim My Medium-Sized Trees Myself?

Q: We have five medium-sized trees in our landscape. They need to be trimmed up at the bottom and thinned out to keep branches off the house. Is this something I can do or do I need a pro?  A:...

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Do Ginkgo Trees Stink?

Q: Do ginkgo trees stink? Does it depend on whether it is a male or female tree? If so, how do you know which you are getting? A: The tree itself does not stink but the fruit from female ginkgo...

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Climbing hempweed – Identified

Q: I found this vine growing in my backyard in September. Is it an invasive weed or something I should leave for the pollinators? A: My friend Shannon Pable says it’s climbing hempweed, Mikania scandens. It is a native plant,...

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Want My Tea Olives To Fill In With Leaves At The Bottom

Q: I would like my 9-foot tea olives to fill in with leaves at the bottom half. How can I make that happen?  A: This is tough. One option is to prune off the top of your shrub, which will...

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